In the sky this week we have Mars conjunct Saturn. Mars came within 6° of conjoining Saturn on March 21 and as one of my teachers advised, I have observed that correlations to Mars transits will often appear as much as 6° in advance of exact aspect. Perhaps this is reflective of the Mars quality of acting quickly, coming on fast and strong and then fading out fast at about 3° following the exact aspect, having spent its energy in a flash. Mars will leave 3° of conjoining Saturn on April 8.
The Mars-Saturn archetypal combination can get a lot of bad press and not without reason. When the principle of GO! (Mars) hits the principle of NO! (Saturn), it can reliably produce frustration, unwanted delays, conflict and clashing wills. Without denying the problematics of Mars-Saturn, we might also offer up a prayer to this combination that features prominently in the Libra Full Moon of 2018 happening March 31, 2018 at 5:36am US/Pacific. Mars-Saturn forms a T-square with the Sun opposite Moon, which means the Mars-Saturn conjunction will be forming difficult square aspects to both the Moon and the Sun, creating a dynamic conversation between the past and the future, the unconscious and the conscious, the collective and the individual, the instinctual or habitual animal self and the egoic sense of who one wants to be.
Mars-Saturn in this highly energetic position can force buried conflict out into the light of day or reflect a breakthrough/crisis in communication, and it can also be harnessed to higher aspirations while allowing for our all too human foibles to be present. Mars-Saturn in particular might remind us that no one person has total, conscious control over their lives or their circumstances, but that delays can also bring unexpected or more fulfilling gratification if our conscious will could submit to the workings of karma or necessity or time. As much as this combination suggests separation, alienation or oppression, in the presence of compassion – first of all for oneself – it can also indicate playing a role in a story much greater than oneself. This may not feel or sound very satisfactory to the one who clings to the experience of being an individual and it’s true that Mars-Saturn lessons and correlations can feel or be quite punishing…and no amount of embracing the mystery of life can erase that truth. Perhaps then the challenge may be finding a way to include the difficult, the unpleasant and the downright objectionable in the truth of “what is,” so as to better cooperate with movement towards the good and the alleviation of unnecessary suffering.
A prayer for Mars-Saturn
May I find the wisdom of restraint. May I taste the self-sown fruits of self-discipline. Patience, endurance, fortitude be mine in understanding that I am playing a role in a very long game. Mars-Saturn, help me to overcome the foolish pride and egotism that gives me no end of sorrow.
May I know humility, being so humble as to belong to the greater whole—to know how to be of service to self and to other. Might I master the energy of yang, or assertion.
I will invoke you in the name of protection, reaching out and requesting connection rather than defending or attacking or being wrongly aggressive.
Mars-Saturn: You are the discipline of passion. May you represent the maturation of the advocate, of the one who wants to change the world—may I realize that the world is in fact here to change me first, but that the Great Work of forging the self is my own responsibility to undertake. Teach me how to toil in the furnace of the Soul, to stick with this Great Work and to see it through to the death and into the death.
Passionate service, be mine! May I show devotion in love. May I commit to a conscious refusal to fight, and instead choose to find means of constructive engagement with conflict.
May I have the wisdom to understand—or to let go of the need to understand—enough to submit my will to the will of love, that Mars-Saturn may represent the confluence of dedication, destiny, karma—AND desire. That what I want also correspond to staying on the spiritual path.
May I let go of the illusion of perfection so as to cooperate with the potential, with the possible, with the creative….that all beings everywhere, in all directions of time and of space may without exception benefit.
And so it is.
The following poem is dedicated to the memory, life and work of Christina Grof
O is it true?
If action means karma
is dharma its completion?
How many actions my inheritance?
Is history my undoing?
ancestral tides pulling me up
out of myself
Much as the Moon massages the sides of Earth
drawing wide swaths of water and rocky flesh skyward
in her ceaseless rotations
yielding generations of ancestors for eons’ gestation
I cannot count the actions giving rise to me
Though I am called to their completion
my destiny to belong to this eternity
though I seem to perish and pass away to dust
some strange dharma erupts
from a distant future wed to the past
understood by the Moon, patient midwife
massaging the sides of Earth
spurring actions upon actions
in an endless giving birth